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Avalanche Bursary awarded to Justine Cowitz

Filed in Bursary, Ski Touring by on November 8, 2019 • views: 147

The Fernie Trails & Ski Touring Club has awarded the 1st Avalanche Bursary of the season to Justine Cowitz. Every year $2000 is available to help further avalanche education in the Elk Valley. The program has been in existence for the past decade and bursary applicants need to apply in writing to fernietrails@fernie.com for consideration.

Read more here about the bursary program and past recipients.

Club President Ian Stokie presenting.

This is Justine’s application:

Dear Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club,
I am writing you to express my keen interest in applying for your bursary program for
avalanche safety and awareness. I am enrolled to take Avalanche Operations Level 1 in
December at Keefer Lake Lodge near Cherryville, BC. This bursary would help me
greatly by funding this course and helping me kick start a career as an avalanche
professional in the Elk Valley.

Following the completion of the Avalanche Operations Level 1 course I intend to start a
pro patrolling career with the Fernie Alpine Resort, which has long been a dream of
mine. I began skiing in Fernie with the Nancy Green Program at the age of six. I
continued racing with the Fernie Alpine Ski Team (FAST), feeding my passion for
skiing, until I went to UVic to earn a B.Sc. in Biology. It was during my time on
Vancouver Island, where in the absence of that magical Fernie powder I began to look
into the backcountry for better and more challenging recreation. I have always had a deep
fear of avalanches and respect for the mountains that inspired me to expand my education
and critical analysis of my days spent in the backcountry. Through this I’ve discovered
that my love of ski touring is just as much about the turns and views as it is about
learning about the snowpack and analyzing the risks.

Following the completion of my degree I returned to Fernie in 2019 to work at The Quest
as a ski technician. While working in the shop I was able to meet and network with
several members of the FAR Ski Patrol who encouraged me to explore a career as an
avalanche professional in Fernie. I am extremely excited to join the professional ski
patrol this season and be a part of the team that makes skiing in a controlled and safe
environment possible for so many people.

Thank you for your time spent reading and considering my application for your bursary.

Sincerely,
Justine Cowitz

We wish you the best in your avalanche safety education.

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